Cannabis is a great tool for my mind. It enables me to “think outside the box”, making me more creative and focused on whatever task I am undertaking, the perfect example being the creation of this magazine and ISMOKEHERB – my cannabis blog.
But cannabis doesn’t just inspire me to complete cannabis-related tasks. I smoke before tidying the house or going out – in fact, with the exception of before I go to work, I smoke before I do pretty much anything. When I smoke I feel a much higher level of creativity, and as a direct result of this I have gone through phases of sketching, making music and even launching small businesses.
It will not surprise you to find out that I am not alone with my views. Thousands of people all over the world swear by cannabis as a major contributing factor for their inspiration, the most obvious people being musical artists. In some genres of music such as reggae, rap and hip hop there are many examples of artists expressing their love for cannabis through their songs, showing it as an inspiration for their lyrics. Songs like “Kaya” by Bob Marley, “Hits from the Bong” by Cypress Hill and “Ganja Smuggler” by Eek-a-Mouse are among some of my favourite cannabis-themed songs. Newer artists such as Wiz Khafilia and Kid Cudi have almost reignited cannabis-themed songs, with new releases such as “Reefer Party” (Wiz Khafilia) and “Marijuana” (Kid Cudi).
The science of cannabis causing inspiration and creativity comes in part from the random thought patterns that consuming THC creates in your brain. As a result your thoughts make leaps to different subjects much more easily than when sober (many people experience random thoughts when stoned) – but this paired with an already creative brain can result in improved inspiration and creativity.
I feel like cannabis has helped me accomplish a lot in the past couple of years. Without my love for cannabis, Nuff Said wouldn’t have come into existence, and I wouldn`t be writing this article right now.
Jayselthofner.com states that “Many people throughout history have used Marijuana / Cannabis as creative inspiration. From painters, poets, musicians, sculptors, dancers, filmmakers, and other “arty” types, to psychologists, computer programmers and more, many of the things that we consider artistic, entertaining, and useful, were created under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.” This sums up cannabis and its use for inspiration almost perfectly.
Hashmuseum.com adds that: “Cannabis has a long history as an aid or complement to inspiration in art, philosophy, music and most other kinds of creative human endeavour.” It is clear that many people believe cannabis has a positive effect in their lives, giving them a source of inspiration which often results in works of beauty in their respective fields.
Famous people that use/have used cannabis for inspiration:
Bob Marley – perhaps the most famous cannabis user ever, used cannabis for religious purposes. He famously said “Herb is the healing of a nation. Alcohol is the destruction”, a phrase which still rings true today. Bob was a Rastafarian, part of a religious culture that use ‘herb’ to get closer to Jah.
The following extract is from Wikipedia and explains cannabis as viewed by Rastafarians:
“Members of the Rastafari movement use cannabis as a part of their worshiping of God, Bible study and Meditation. The movement was founded in Jamaica in the 1930s and while it is not known when Rastafarians first made cannabis into something sacred it is clear that by the late 1940s Rastafari was associated with cannabis smoking at the Pinnacle community of Leonard Howell. Rastafari see cannabis as a sacramental and deeply beneficial plant that is the Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible. Bob Marley, amongst many others, has quoted Revelation: 22:2, “… the herb is the healing of the nations.” The use of cannabis, and particularly of long-stemmed water-pipes called chalices, is an integral part of what Rastafari call “reasoning sessions” where members join together to discuss life according to the Rasta perspective. They see the use of cannabis as bringing them closer to God (Jah), allowing the user to penetrate the truth of things much more clearly, as if the wool had been pulled from one’s eyes. Thus Rastafari smoke cannabis together in order to discuss the truth with each other, reasoning it all out little by little through many sessions. While it is not necessary to use cannabis to be a Rastafari, some feel that they use it regularly as a part of their faith, and pipes of cannabis are always dedicated to His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I before being smoked. “The herb is the key to new understanding of the self, the universe, and God. It is the vehicle to cosmic consciousness” and is believed to burn the corruption out of the human heart. Rubbing the ashes from smoked cannabis is also considered a healthy practice.”
There is no doubt that Bob Marley’s cannabis use also provided him with inspiration, and his love for cannabis can be found enshrined in his lyrics.
Tupac Shakur, regarded by many as the greatest rapper of all time used cannabis on a regular basis. It helped him write music, and he used it for inspiration. In his song “Pain” (Above The Rim Soundtrack) he states “they label me a troublemaker, who can you blame? Smokin’ weed helps me take away the pain”. Tupac used to get high and stay up in the studio, creating and recording hit after hit. Christopher Wallace, A.K.A The Notorious B.I.G also spoke regularly about his cannabis use, with lyrics like: “Relax and take note, while I take tokes of the marijuana smoke.” (Dead Wrong, Bad Boy Records) These artists, as well as others such as Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Bone Thugz-N-Harmony show that cannabis is a major part of Hip Hop culture. It is good to know when I listen to these songs that when they were recorded the artists were probably baked off of their faces!
Cheech and Chong are best known for their assortment of stoner films dating back to the 1970s. Wikipedia tells us that “Cheech & Chong are a comedy duo consisting of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong, who found a wide audience in the 1970s and 1980s for their films and stand-up routines, which were based on the hippie and free love era, and especially drug culture movements, most notably their love for cannabis.” Without cannabis, we wouldn’t have Cheech & Chong, two of the most famous cannabis icons alive today. For them cannabis is a source of their comedy, and they take full advantage of the risqué subject to provide an audience with entertainment.
Famous comedian Bill Hicks was a great speaker. In his short life he tackled many political subjects, and was known for his views on drugs. He spoke wise words about cannabis in his stage shows, with some of his comments including “They lie about marijuana. Tell you pot-smoking makes you unmotivated. Lie! When you’re high, you can do everything you normally do, just as well. You just realize that it’s not worth the fucking effort. There is a difference.” and “Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” You can see from these comments that Bill Hicks was a firm supporter of cannabis, and being a user it would have helped inspire him to come up with new material. Even after his death, Bill Hicks remains a great source of inspiration to others, and his way with words has never quite been recaptured.
These are just a few examples of inspirational people that use cannabis for their creative process, people who are famous worldwide for their amazing works in one way or another. Cannabis was/is a big part of their lives, much as it is for millions of people in the UK and around the planet. It is time more people recognised the benefits of cannabis – it can help people lead richer and more inspired lives, and create more imaginative material. I’ll end with another quote from Bill Hicks which sums everything up perfectly: “If you don’t think drugs have done good things for us, then take all of your records, tapes, and CD’s, and burn them.”